“It is my father Chakyar Rajan’s blessing which is guiding me in reaching age-old topics in a distilled form to the present generations,” said senior dancer Padmaja Suresh. She was referring to the lecture-demonstrations that she was going to present at the Shanmukhananda and at Kalakshetram the next day. The topic was the versatile and integrated wisdom of Bharata muni and other sages.
Her erudite talk and dance presentation in Natyopasana, hosted by Kalakshethram at Model English School auditorium, Dombivili East, was received with applause and approbation. As the audience was a mixed bag of children, young and seniors, Padmaja had designed a direct and dramtic approach. It was an appeal to the young go-getters to make wise choices. “To choose positive, choose between grace and glamour and do not lose yourself in the rat race,” she said. She shed light on the versatile and integrated wisdom of Bharatha muni and other sages.
Dance, she said was the mother of all arts. Natya was yoga wherein the araimandi got its importance through the incorporation of the Srichakram.
Beyond the physical layers, in the subtle domain man and woman are the same — Shakti. Woman is also prakriti. Padmaja presented Ardhanareeswara Ashtakam to demonstrate the concept.
Rasa, she said, was the link between the actor and the spectator. Rasa can only be experienced and not verbally communicated, It is unique to Indian aesthetics and Navarasas are the invariable life forces.
Temples were constructed as imprints of a larger Yantra within the space consecrated by rituals that also enlivened the deities. Hence one can visualise Natya Margam as a grand entry with Alarippu, Jatiswaram, Shabdam, Varnam, Padam and Tillana, acting as layers, each an Avarana.
The concluding demonstration of Navaratna — nine hymns from the Bhagavad Gita, Puranas and Upanishads — was rendered as an example of how we can do our Karma yoga including Natya yoga, without sacrificing or getting consumed by Bhoga.
Dr. Padmaja deserves credit for decoding the complex into the simple for the benefit of young learners. The audience who lapped up her words and dance with equal eagerness gave her a standing ovation.